New York lawmakers reach a deal to legalize recreational marijuana, source says

A marijuana smoker holds a joint in Brooklyn, New York, in April 2020.

(CNN)New York State lawmakers have reached a deal to legalize recreational marijuana, a legislative source familiar with negotiations told CNN Wednesday, stating lawmakers were finalizing bill language to be passed next week.

"The Cannabis Law" legislation would create a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) controlled by a Cannabis Control Board, according to an internal legislative memo obtained by CNN.
The proposal would eventually allow New Yorkers over the age of 21 to grow their own plants in their homes, and a 13% tax would be tacked on to retail sales for state and local tax revenue.
The deal follows marijuana legalization in neighboring New Jersey. Last month, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed bills to legalize and regulate marijuana use for those 21 and older, decriminalize possession of limited amounts of marijuana and clarify marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for those younger than 21.
In New York, board officials would issue licenses for different steps of the supply chain -- farming, processing, distribution, dispensaries and retail "consumption" sites, the memo says. The new state office would oversee the regulation of the adult-use and medical cannabis programs.
Some OCM officials would be tasked with focusing on social equity, including a goal to award 50% of licenses to "social equity applicants" like those from communities impacted by cannabis prohibition and minority- and women-owned businesses, according to the memo.
Percentages of the program's revenue would go to the State Lottery Fund for Education and the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund. Another portion would go to the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund for "grants for qualified community-based organizations and approved local government entities to reinvest in communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies," the memo says.
The plan would allow law enforcement to justify suspicion of intoxication by the odor of cannabis but would prohibit using odor as a justification for searching a car for contraband, the memo says. "Impairment by cannabis" would be included in the infraction "Driving While Ability Impaired," which is the lowest degree of the "Driving While Intoxicated" statute.